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qualified electronic technicians, carried on the rolls of the

Architect of the Capitol.

Placement of Microphones and Speakers

10 microphones, for speaking, would be installed as follows:

2 on the Rostrum (one for the Speaker; one for the Reading Clerk);:

2 in the Democratic and Republican Wells, 6 at the Democratic and

Republican Tables - the same as at present.

Loudspeakers, serving the positions of the Speaker, the Reading Clerk, the House Clerks, the Parliamentarian, the Sergeant

at Arms, and the Official Reporters would be installed in their re

spective locations.

Each seat on the floor would be served by an individual loud

speaker installed in an enclosure mounted under the back of the chair,

except in the front row where the loudspeakers would be installed

inside the arrests.

The audience in the Galleries would be served by 358 loudspeakers distributed at appropriate locations in the galleries. The Press Gallery would also be provided with loudspeakers.

The microphones for the Speaker and the Reading Clerk would be provided with cut-off switches which would permit muting of the microphone by the user.

All microphones used in the proposed system would have unidirectional pickup patterns. This characteristic maximizes pickup from the direction in which the microphone is oriented,

that is, from the direction of the person speaking, while

minimizing pickup of ambient noises.

All microphone positions will be provided with signal lights

indicating the "live" condition of the microphone.

Microphone cables, loudspeaker cables and signal wiring

will be run concealed under the floor of the Chamber.

Loudspeaker wiring for the loudspeakers in the Galleries will be

run in surface-mounted conduit.

The control position for the new system will remain unchanged

from the existing position at the railing of the Public Gallery North.

The control position will include a control panel with illuminated

switches operating each of the microphone channels individually. Each microphone channel would be provided with an individual microphone pre

amplifier and mixing control.

The system would include equalization to provide best intelligibility

and best overall quality and naturalness of sound.

The system would also include an automatic level control

amplifier intended to assist the system's operator in maintaining

a constant level of reinforcement.

A break down of the estimated cost of the sound system follows:

Breakdown of Estimated cost of Sound System

Professional services of acoustical consultants:

For development and completion of design of the

system, preparation of specifications for com
petitive procurement of major system components,
and evaluation of bids received from prospective
suppliers of system components..................$ 8,000

For services during the installation of the system

by government personnel, testing and adjusting
the installation, and instructing government
personnel in the operation of the system. .......


Total - acoustical consultants....

.........$ 15,000

Service of component manufacturers' technicians to

assist government employees during installation...........


Cost of system components, wiring materials, supplies,

and miscellaneous devices, delivered to site.............


Premium pay for overtime services by government per

sonnel in making installation during other than regular working hours, in order not to disturb operations in the House Chamber...................


Miscellaneous and contingencies.......


Total Estimated Cost.......


Funding of Sound System

Based on the above estimate submitted to the Committees

on Appropriations in 1970, $105,000 was provided by the Congress

in the Legislative Branch Appropriation Act, 1971 (Public Law 91-382,

approved August 18, 1970), under the appropriation "Capitol Buildings, Architect of the Capitol."

De ferment of Project

In deference to the authority vested in your Commission

in the Legislative Reorganization Act, approved October 26, 1970, relating to changes in the galleries, we deferred action on the previously approved sound reinforcing system until the project

could be coordinated with any changes your Commission might approve

for the galleries generally - as indicated in my letter to you of April 13, 1971.

We have not used the $105,000 for other purposes but, at our request, the full amount has been continued available each year, the last legislation continuing the funds available until June 30, 1973.

Recommendation Relating to Sound System

If there is to be any prolonged delay in deciding upon other

changes in the galleries, I recommend that your Commission concur in our

proceeding with installation of the new sound system during the current

fiscal year. We have been advised by the sound consultants that the

sound system proposed would be adequate whether or not the glass barrier

is installed and that modifications to sound system would not be sub

stantial in the event it is decided later to install the glass enclosure. OTHER IMPROVED FACILITIES IN THE GALLERIES FOR VISITORS :

We have not engaged in study of the other items mentioned in

the Legislative Reorganization Act, but in accordance with your request,

we have concentrated our efforts on the proposal to enclose the galleries

and to improve the sound reinforcement system.

I am enclosing sufficient copies of this report and the

sketches so that a copy of each may be sent to each Member of your


I appreciate yout deep interest in these matters. Please

be assured that I am ready to cooperate with you and your Commission

and to assist you in any way you deem appropriate.


George M. White, FAIA
Architect of the Capitol

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